Battle of the Christmas Musicals

by Carol de Giere on December 28, 2016

holiday wreathNew Musicals Submissions Opportunity

Submissions window: January 15 – April 30, 2017

The Brookfield Theatre for the Arts in Connecticut is seeking submissions of new musicals suited to the winter holiday season. To be considered, a show needs to express some aspect of the holiday spirit such as generosity, acceptance, or family harmony.

On Saturday July 1, 2017, the theater will present “Christmas in July: Battle of the Christmas Musicals,” a festive evening event that will treat audiences to excerpts from three musicals selected from submissions. Each show will be performed as a 45-minute rehearsed excerpt/reading. The readings will be cast with experienced actors from the region and led by a director and musical director provided by the theater. At the end of the evening, audiences will vote for their favorite show.

The winning show will be performed at the theater as a full-length preview performance in December 2017. This will be a modest production suitable for photos and video. It is intended to help the show’s authors preview their fully realized work. The December weekend showings (Fri., Sat. & Sun., Dec. 15-17) will feature a local cast and crew.

Brookfield TheatreBrookfield Theatre for the Arts is an all volunteer, non-profit 501(c)(3) community theater now in its sixtieth year. The group has its own permanent space in the town of 16,000 near the western edge of Connecticut and draws stage enthusiasts from the region, including actors formerly based in New York City. The theater is led by president Lou Okell, artistic director Will Jeffries, and an active Board of Directors. The venue seats 135 people.

Details about Submissions and Readings

Writers are encouraged to submit new, completed or nearly completed, full-length musicals for adults and/or family audiences. Musicals aimed primarily at young children will not be accepted.

Submitted work should not have received a large commercial production. (Previous readings, workshops, and small regional productions are acceptable.) Submissions are welcome between January 15 and the end of April. Writers whose shows have made the final cut will be notified by May 15 so that they may prepare a 45-minute presentation for the start of rehearsals in mid-June.

“We’re looking to tell a good story—a story that people can connect with,” says company president Lou Okell. “Whether it’s our holiday time struggles or a hopeful message, it’s got to be a compelling story.” It should also be appropriate for community theater.

Only electronic submission will be reviewed. Writers are asked to include the following materials: a show synopsis, cast list, song list, current script draft, demo recordings of all songs completed to date (minimum 6 songs), a sample of the piano vocal score, bio of writers, and a production history of the show with a list of previous readings or performances. Please also mention any special considerations such as rights arrangements, availability of writers to travel to Brookfield for the July or December performances, and notes on anticipated revisions.

Please use for large files. We suggest that you send a brief introductory email to with a link to the Dropbox folder where the documents and music files are collected.

Up to six semi-finalists will be selected by Carol de Giere, curator of new musicals at Brookfield Theatre, with the finalists selected by the group’s board. Writers are encouraged but not required to attend the July 1st event. Each show will be championed by a board member at the competition. It is suggested that writers travel to Brookfield to attend the December performance.

There are no submission fees and no contractual obligations for the future. The Brookfield Theatre for the Arts is a non-profit organization, and donations are always welcome.
Contact with any questions or special requests. Visit the group’s website at


We recommend you also read Writing Musicals for the Christmas Season – a tips and experiences article.

For more background on the Brookfield Theatre, see the interview here Brookfield Theatre new musicals 

This article has been published in conjunction with Musical Writerzine issue 36.

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